The Department of Biology offers majors in Biology leading to a Bachelor of Science degree and a minor in Biology. Biology students may elect a curriculum for a major in Biology, Health-oriented careers or Teaching Certification (Secondary Education).

The Department also offers study beyond the bachelor's degree leading to a Master of Science in Biology. A limited number of teaching assistantships are usually available. Interested students should consult the Graduate Programs section of the catalog or the chair of the Department of Biology. There are opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to join funded projects. Students should contact the appropriate faculty for these opportunities.

There are over 50 faculty members who actively engage in Integrative and Integrative and Organismal Biology Research as well as Research in Cellular and Molecular Biology. Each faculty member has approximately 600 square feet research lab space located in the science building. The labs are outfitted for research in the above areas and both undergraduate and graduate students actively participate in research in the Department of Biology. Additional equipment is also available for use through the Department of Biology's pool of research, teaching and instructional equipment.

The Department of Biology maintains active research programs as well as a high standard of excellence with regard to teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. A Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC) is located next to our building. This center offers significant collaboration opportunities in research.

In The Spotlight

UTRGV Department of Biology Research Spotlight on Kariyat Lab - Chemical ecology of plant herbivore pollinator interactions | Role of chemistry in plant pollinator herbivore interactions | Direct and indirect physical and chemical defenses | Understanding mechanisms underlying insect-plant interactions in natural an agricultural ecosystems


Latest Developments in Biology

  • It has generally been assumed that in a growing population of microbes, viruses also multiply and kill their hosts, keeping the microbial population in check. A recent study of virus-host dynamics near coral reefs suggests that, under certain conditions, viruses can change their infection strategy. As potential host microbes become more numerous, some viruses forego rapid replication and opt instead to reside peaceably inside their host, thereby reducing their the viruses' numbers.
  • In deep, old and nutrient-poor ocean floor sediments there are up to 225 times more viruses than microbes. In such extreme habitats, viruses make up the largest fraction of living biomass and take over the role as predators in this bizarre ecosystem.

  • Biologists have succeeded in visualizing the movement within plants of a key hormone responsible for growth and resistance to drought. The achievement will allow researchers to conduct further studies to determine how the hormone helps plants respond to drought and other environmental stresses driven by the continuing increase in the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide, or CO2, concentration.

Webmaster: Dr. Luis Materon
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